Home Canadian Soccer CIS and Amateur FCE coach Miller has known about Dosanjh’s soccer talents for almost 15 years

FCE coach Miller has known about Dosanjh’s soccer talents for almost 15 years

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The signing of Gagandeep Dosanjh by FC Edmonton is a message for youth players everywhere: You never know where your coaches will end up, so stay in their good books.

Colin Miller, now coach of FC Edmonton, first worked with Dosanjh when the midfielder was an eight-year-old growing up in Abbotsford, B.C. He impressed Miller then, and continues to impress the coach now. The University of British Columbia product led the Thunderbirds to the 2012 national title, was named the MVP of the CIS final and was nominated for the overall CIS Male Athlete of the Year honour.

“A lot of CIS coaches will be delighted knowing that he won’t be playing for UBC in the fall,” Miller said. “I didn’t bring him in here to make up the numbers. Hes got a great football brain. He can find tiny pockets of space in the field.”

Dosanh , an attacking midfielder who can play the No. 10 role, was one of three signings made by the Eddies on Thursday. Anthony Adur, the Canadian forward who had stints at Maccabi Haifa, as well as clubs in Singapore and Thailand, showed well and will make the trip with the Eddies for Saturday’s NASL fall-season opener at the Carolina RailHawks.

“He made a good impression right from the first day,” Miller said of Adur. “He looks like a tremendous addition to the squad. It looks like there will be competition for places up front, which may not have been the case before.”

FCE also announced the signing of keeper Norbert Janas, who has been used as a backup on an amateur contract earlier this season. The local product will be third in the depth chart behind Lance Parker and John Smits.

While Adur will be on the trip to Carolina, Dosanjh will have to wait. He’s still rehabbing a knee that required a scope earlier this summer. He’s about seven to 10 days away from being back on the pitch.

But Miller’s already waited through the spring season for Dosanjh, so how much is a few days more? Dosanjh enjoyed a successful trial with the Eddies before the spring season, when the team held a portion of its training camp in the Vancouver area. But Dosanjh was in the middle of a semester, and didn’t want to drop his studies. So, a signing would have to wait until his term was done.

“I still have a year and a half to go,” said Dosanjh. “And I am committed to finishing that in the future. But, this was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Dosanjh spent the spring with the Whitecaps U-23 side, but the knee issue curtailed his PDL campaign.

“I wanted to go back there and keep proving myself, but the knee injury limited my summer.”

Dosanjh did some rehab work on the Clarke Stadium sidelines Thursday, under the bright sun. That’s a far cry from the last time he was on Edmonton turf; that was in November at Foote Field, on a cold afternoon. With snow piled on the sidelines, he scored the extra-time winner to give UBC the win over the University of Alberta in the Canada West championship.

And Dosanjh knows that other CIS standouts have enjoyed success in NASL — most notably Paul Hamilton, the former CIS Player of the Year who was named to the league best XI last year as a member of FCE, and is now a regular with the RailHawks.

“It’s great that Edmonton gives CIS players like myself a chance,” said Dosanjh. “There’s a lot of good players in CIS, and they deserve the chances to play. Paul has proved that CIS players can do well at this level.”

Miller simply sees a player he thinks can be a difference maker. And he still sees some of the qualities he saw in Dosanjh when the midfielder, now 22, was just a boy.

“He’s been tremendous at every level he’s played,” said Miller. “CIS, PDL and at club level, he’s been outstanding. He’s wonderful example for the Indo-Canadian community of what you can achieve. And he was a great role model in the Abbotsford community.”

One player who won’t be making the trip to North Carolina is Carlyle Mitchell. Even though the central defender was expected to return to Edmonton in the NASL off-season, he’s remained with his parent club, the Vancouver Whitecaps. As the MLS side is still uncertain about the health of its back line, Mitchell will stay with the Whitecaps for at least another week.

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